Guide To Buying The Perfect Bike Rack
Bike racks are great to help you get to fun bicycle riding places that may be far away or not desirable to ride the connections on your bike itself.
However, there are great roads, paths and trails that lure bike riders away from the hum drum of daily bicycle commuting. If you want to get out to some fun rides or even use a bike rack to help with your commute by bike, choosing the right bike rack for you, your needs, your bike, and your car type, is essential.
TRUNK REAR MOUNTED BIKE RACKS
Perfect for any style car.
The strap connects to the car's trunk, hatchback, or rear bumper.
- Economically priced
- Not vehicle-specific
- Conveniently stowed in vehicle
- Easy to load and unload bikes
- Straps can wear out or come loose
- Obstructs view out of rear window
- Greater chance of damaging the vehicle
- Limited mounts accommodate a spoiler
- Not recommended for expansive road bikes, mountain bikes, odd framed, and tandem bikes
- License plates and taillights cannot be obstructed which can result in a fine.
- Bikes can be damaged if the vehicle is backed into something or involved in a rear collision accident.
- Bikes can easily be stolen off bike racks without a locking mechanism.
Roof Bike Racks
15% of new vehicles are manufactured with factory roof racks. Otherwise, to use a bike rack on your roof of your car requires that your vehicle have crossbars or a factory roof rack, like SUVs, minivans, and station wagons.
- Supports tandem and odd-framed bikes
- Can be used to transport other things like skis, snowboards, car top carriers,
- kayaks, and canoes
- Lockable mounting available
- Provides full access to trunk
- Affordable option for vehicles with an existing roof rack
- Can be complicated to load, and unload bikes
- Wind resistance from bikes reduce gas mileage
- Cannot fit curved-roofed or convertible vehicles
- Front wheel must be removed or a wheel fork is needed
- Vehicle cannot be driven under low over head structure like parking garages and fast food restaurants.
- Ensure the racks and carriers will fit the roof rack
- Additional attachments may be required
- To reduce wind noise, purchase a fairing to block the gap between the roof and bar system
Hitch Bike Racks
Requires a hitch, which is found on many cars and truck based SUV's, pickups and motor homes/RVs
- Easy installation
- Hanging and tray styles available
- Trays provide greater support
- Quick load and unload of bikes
- No need to remove front wheels
- Little to no risk of scratching the vehicle's paint
- Can be used for other outdoor sports gear with easy attachments
- May partially block driver's view out of rear window
- Hanging styles can damage bike frames and require frame adapter bars
- Doesn't support all tandem bikes
- Some models don't provide access to rear lift gate
- Odd framed bikes might require added attachments
- Requires a hitch that's rated for towing
- Caution: Bikes can be damaged if the vehicle is backed into something or involved in a rear collision accident. Check the hitch clearance to ensure the rack will not be obstructed by spare tires.
OTHER KINDS OF BICYCLE RACKS
Motor home / RV Bicycle Rack
Truck Bed Bicycle Rack
Spare Tire Bike Rack
- Purchasing the wrong rack design for your vehicle
- Buying a rack that doesn't support the kind of bike frame or style; for example tandem bikes are not compatible with many bike racks
- Choosing a rack that doesn't support all your bikes
- Picking a rack that's too difficult to load and unload
- Buying a hitch or roof-mounted rack without knowing your vehicle's load capacity
- Buying a rack that doesn't offer locking mechanism; bikes can easily be stolen without a locking feature.
- Buying a used bike rack that might wear too easily; straps and clips wear out with use
- Purchasing a rack that's not easy to store and / or difficult to install
- Choosing a cheaper model that doesn't meet all safety requirements
- Purchaing a rack that does not suit all our sport and outdoor needs